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Book Reviews

Understanding Mental Disorders

Your Guide to DSM-5. Donald W. Black, Jeffrey Borenstein, Ellen Frank, Robert E. Hales, David J. Kupfer, and Susan K. Schultz (Editorial Advisory Board) (2015) Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. 370 pp.

Ruiz, Pedro MD

Author Information
The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: September 2015 - Volume 203 - Issue 9 - p 739
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000357
  • Free

Understanding Mental Disorders: Your Guide to DSM-5 is one of the most useful books that I have read from a clinical point of view. The Editorial Advisory Group is composed of six excellent clinicians and academicians whose reputation and respect by the field at large is very meritorious. The Editorial Advisory Group includes Donald W. Black, M.D.; Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.; Ellen Frank, M.D.; Robert E. Hales, M.D.; David J. Kupfer, M.D.; and Susan K. Schultz, M.D.

The fact that Patrick J. Kennedy wrote an excellent and enlightening foreword adds to the respect and value of the text. The book addresses 19 clinically relevant topics, all of which are not only very common among the mental health population of this country and abroad but constitute the bulk of the mental disorders that psychiatrists and other mental health specialists have to address in their day-to-day practice. An added extra chapter on “Treatment Essentials” addresses a series of topics and issues, which are essential with respect to the daily practice of all mental health practitioners. Among them are who can help from a mental health point of view, and also a review of the most common forms of treatments, such as psychotherapy, psychiatric medications, electroconvulsive therapy, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Those treatment essentials are an excellent and practical orientation for all practitioners within the mental health field of practice.

The disorders addressed in this text are all well discussed and described. First published in 1952, DSM has been an excellent tool to guide and assist clinicians at large in their understanding of clinical psychiatric conditions and disorders over the years. I found this current DSM-5 text very useful from a clinical point of view. I will certainly keep it available in my daily clinical practice, and I recommend it to all mental health professionals. This book clinically depicts the most common and useful clinical aspects of DSM-V. I enjoyed reading it and will keep it handy in my office.

Pedro Ruiz, MD

Professor and Executive Vice Chair

Department of Psychiatry and

Behavioral Sciences

University of Miami

Miller School of Medicine

Miami, FL, USA


The author declares no conflict of interest.

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